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United Kingdom-London: Administrative social services
Prior information notice
This notice is for prior information only
Section I: Contracting authority
Section II: Object
Advice, Issue Reporting & Eligibility (AIRE) Services
UK Visas and Immigration plan to procure a consolidated service that:
— provides advice to asylum seekers,
— provides asylum seekers with the ability to report issues, and,
— assistance to asylum seekers to complete an application form to confirm their eligibility for support.
Local capacity to support asylum applicants, familiarity with community cohesion and proximity to local voluntary and social groups will be key.
Under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, UKVI has an obligation to provide accommodation & support to asylum seekers (Service Users) who would otherwise be destitute. To support this obligation UKVI facilitate the availability of advice, issue reporting and eligibility assistance services for Service Users. This includes the provision of:
Advice & Guidance.
Advice and guidance are provided to asylum applicants throughout their asylum application. Advice is provided through a range of communication channels appropriate to asylum seekers’ needs.
This service will include but is not limited to:
— briefings about the asylum process, including induction services,
— provision of general advice about asylum and signposting to relevant public services,
— provision of advice on the asylum support eligibility system, and,
— provision of advice & guidance to service users to support them in acting upon the outcome of their asylum claim, including engagement with the Department of Work and Pensions and Local Authorities or advice on the support available to return to their country of origin.
— the new asylum support model seeks to streamline customer contact through the establishment of a consolidated customer contact center, with a single entry point for Service Users to communicate complaints and issues.
— feedback and complaints from Service Users related to service delivery and Accommodation Provider performance will be made to a single, dedicated point of contact operated by the AIRE Provider.
— the AIRE Provider will be responsible for capturing, logging and referring feedback and complaints to the relevant parties for resolution.
Eligibility-assistance will support asylum seekers in completing and submitting applications for support and accommodation services. This service will include but is not limited to:
— explanation of the eligibility criteria for support under Section 4 & Section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
— assistance in the completion of an Asylum Support Application Form (ASF1), including where necessary language assistance to complete forms in English.
— assistance in submitting written notifications in English of prescribed change of circumstances.
The project aims to deliver a value for money and affordable support system which effectively facilitates the delivery of the UK’s statutory and international obligations to asylum seekers, supporting the operation of effective immigration controls.
The system will ensure the safety and security of Service Users and their host communities. Services will be delivered as consistently and efficiently as possible at a level which is proportionate to similar services offered to UK nationals:
— service users will experience an accessible and easy to navigate the system, which delivers consistent and compassionate support. The system will protect the vulnerable, keep service users safe, orientate them to live in their communities and prepare them to act on the outcome of their asylum claim.
— providers will supply a service of which they are proud, providing high-quality support services. The department will take practical steps to provide a good level of certainty on demand, with a sustainable balance of risk, an appropriate rate of return and scope for innovation in delivery.
— communities will feel involved in the support of destitute asylum seekers, working in partnership with UKVI and others to support community cohesion as service users transition through the asylum system.
The new arrangements will come into operation on expiry of the current agreements in September 2019.
The OJEU Contract Notice is expected to be published in the Spring/Early Summer of 2018.
In the meantime, please e-mail your interest in the project with your contact details and any queries to the project team to AIREprocurement@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.
Further information and relevant instructions will be provided at that point.
Section IV: Procedure
Section VI: Complementary information
The Asylum Accommodation and Support Transformation (AAST) project have been established to design, develop and procure the future model for asylum accommodation and support, replacing the existing arrangements when they expire. It is the AAST team’s aim to implement a model which creates an efficient and high-quality overall asylum accommodation and support system which works for all parties, utilizing lessons learned and previous methods of service provision and stakeholder views to influence design.
The project is aiming to start procurement of the AIRE services in the spring of 2018 with contract award by the Spring of 2019. This will allow for a 6 months transition period with services fully operational by October 2019.
The estimated annual value of the contract will be £10-20 million.
The initial contract period is likely to be 4 years with options to extend for up to a total of 10 years. A final position on duration to be determined and advised in the Contract Notice.
An OJEU contract notice will be published in due course. The same opportunity will also be published on Contract Finder:
UKVI is committed to ensuring fairness, openness, and transparency; and to follow EU procurement regulations.
This PIN does not constitute a call for competition to procure any services and UKVI is not bound to accept any proposal offered.
Any procurement of any of the services in due course will be conducted strictly in accordance with the provisions of Public Contract Regulations 2015 (as amended).